Monday, November 13, 2006


The Wire No. 46: Know Your Place

BLOGGER'S NOTE: As always, know that spoilers lie below, so don't venture further unless you've seen the episode or don't care if you know what happens.

By Edward Copeland
Omar asks Bunk if he is his ride when he meets him after being released from the gates of the county lockup. "I'm your motherfucking savior," Bunk spits acidly back at Omar. In this week's episode of The Wire, a lot of characters could use saviors, for issues both serious and trivial.

Bunk makes it clear to Omar that he could still come back at him since Stringer Bell remains one of his open cases, but he makes Omar promise: No more killings and no more bodies and no vengeance against those who set him up. The rip 'n' run artist reluctantly agrees, realizing that he's indebted to Bunk but that doesn't stop him from scouting out the convenience store to try to figure out why Old Face Andre set him up and at whose behest.

Old Face Andre has decided it's best to lie low, since he knows it's only a matter of time until Marlo figures out that he backed out of his story and will send Chris and Snoop his way. Omar isn't even a consideration — but he figures he needs help, so he finds his way to Prop Joe's repair shop to appeal for help selling his store. Joe advises Andre that his best solution is to get the hell out of Baltimore, but Andre claims he doesn't know anything but this city before accepting Joe's offer of $2,000 for his store and a northbound ride. Unfortunately for Andre, Slim takes him for that ride — and it leads straight to Marlo, Chris and Snoop and the end of Old Face Andre. Prop Joe has other business with Marlo this week, giving him Herc's card and warning him that he's with the Major Crimes Unit that took down Barksdale and had Stringer's cell phone. He advises Marlo to dump his cell phones, either not realizing (or choosing not to tell Marlo) that MCU ain't what it used to be and Herc is a major league numbskull. He also informs him that the New Yorkers have fled the city after Chris and Snoop dropped enough of their numbers to make them retreat.

More evidence of Herc's indifference and incompetence happens to come down on poor Bubbles' head. He seeks help from Kima to deal with the street thug who keeps ripping him off, but Kima tells Bubs there's not much she can do now that she's with homicide. "If bad boy happens to kill me, then you could help me?" Bubs asks Kima sarcastically and she suggests he help Herc out and then Herc can help him. Bubs, as always, delivers on his end, helping Herc identify Little Kevin (Tyrell Baker) in his continued quest to serve up Lex's murder to cover up for his lost video camera. Of course, Herc's obsession leads him to ignore Bubs' call for help and leads to another beating while his interrogation of Little Kevin leads to nothing more than Kevin figuring out that Randy gave him up. Little Kevin's "boss," Bodie gets a welcome visitor back to his staff with the return of Poot (Tray Chaney) who has been released from prison after serving a short sentence related to the Barksdale takedown. Bodie also has to contend with Namond, not so much for the young man's performance as for the constant pestering he receives from his mother and he begs Namond to keep her away.

Namond ends up on the winning team of a model-building contest in Bunny's experimental class and is rewarded with a dinner out to Ruth's Chris Steak House, where Namond and his classmates feel particularly out of place. Also on the school front, Randy, thanks to Dukie's Internet skills, realizes he can get cheaper candy — if he buys it online, only he lacks a credit card, which he talks Prez into supplying if Randy gives him cash up front — cash Randy makes playing craps using the probability skills that Prez has taught him. Prez and the other teachers at Tilghman Middle School also get the unfortunate news that no matter what their subject is, the district superintendent has mandated that all classes drill the students in language arts in preparation for a standardized test that will determine the school's future and funding under No Child Left Behind. Prez realizes that the order is reminiscent of "juking the stats" back in the police department. Elsewhere, Carver inquires to Cutty about Namond and learns his connection to Wee-Bey. Cutty insists that Namond may carry the same blood as Wee-Bey, but not the same heart.

Michael continues to express disdain at the return of Bug's father (Cyrus Farmer) and gives more hints of the abuse that must have occurred by his hands as he expresses his mistrust of most men, including Cutty, who he deems "too friendly." Out of desperation, Michael turns to the only person who thinks might be able to help him with his problem — Marlo. On the other side of the law, Carcetti continues to face resistance to any plans to remove Burrell from power, this time from City Council President Nerese Campbell (Marlyne Afflack) who feels Mayor Royce betrayed her by running again when she felt she was next in the mayoral line of succession and Carcetti jumped ahead of her. Norman floats the idea to Carcetti that maybe they can get Burrell to quit of his own accord, especially after Carcetti orders that Rawls will have actual operational control of the department and anything Burrell does must go through Rawls and Carcetti first. Burrell has no intention of going quietly, especially once he realizes that Carcetti doesn't have the political strength to take on the ministers and the black community and fire him. "If you want me to go, you have to shitcan me," Burrell tells Carcetti with a grin as he makes plans to regain strength and thwart the moves he's seeing by Carcetti to elevate Daniels through the department.

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